“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ear…”   Those few, simple words written by William Shakespeare are well-known to casual readers and bookworms alike.  Similarly, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?” has been drilled into our heads by our beloved English teachers.  (By the way: wherefore doesn’t mean “where,” it means “why”.) 

Banal quotes and trite cliches make us wonder why certain phrases are so easily recognized.  Why do some lines have sticking power in our brains?  We are bombarded with clever turns of scripts every day, from Facebook posts to television shows to radio ads; yet, certain quotes are indelible.

Certainly, some famous quotes stick in our gray matter due to pure rote memory.  I had a Latin teacher, Mr. Paris, who began each class by making say aloud the opening line to Caesar’s Gallic wars:  “Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.”  Mr. Paris added a few more words each day, and promised us that we would probably remember this for the rest of our lives.  After the Christmas break, a 30-year-old student popped in just to say hello to Mr. Paris.  That adult could recite the entire first paragraph, and we were amazed.

Besides rote memory, there are other tricks that our brain uses to remember these kinds of phrases.  If we see a parody on television that makes us laugh, our brains will ease and we will absorb what we are hearing.  If we are very sad or angry, we might identify with a particular phrase or song lyric and subconsciously think about it.  If we are celebrating a holiday, our hearts can quickly recall moving sayings like Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, or Tiny Tim’s gleeful, “God bless us, every one!”

In your writing, remember that a heartfelt phrase can have real staying power.  We don’t always know which phrases will resonate with a fellow bookworm, but chances are that if you are sincerely writing from your heart, readers will take notice.  It takes some confidence and a willingness to be vulnerable enough to share your innermost thoughts, but isn’t this what writing is all about in the first place?

Keep writing and keep sharing!  – Cronin Detzz



  1. I find that when I come up with certain sentences in my own writing that seem to have that same magic you’re talking about – I feel as though if I’ve written them before. This is the line (in one of my stories):

    “If it takes all of your strength just to breathe, then you are brave for every breath you take.”

    It gives me such a wild case of deja vu, and yet I’m also very certain I’ve never read it anywhere nor wrote it previously. It ‘stays with me’ like it’s always been there, just under the surface. I am both proud to have written it and sad that it has been put to paper and laid to rest with everything else fit for past literary pieces.

    Crazy stuff.

    • Andrea L., I love that line about being brave! I hope that others can recognize their own great words of wisdom, too. I never considered the sadness of laying words to rest, I prefer to see our writing and our sharing of stories as a profound legacy. It would be sad if we did not share our inner worlds through our inner words. I like to think that part of our inspiration and creativity comes from fallen angel-poets who whisper their heavenly insights into our ears.

      Keep writing and keep sharing, it is every writer’s legacy! Thank you for reading and commenting on this post. – Cronin Detzz

      • I don’t know about fallen angels, but I’m one hundred percent behind the idea that sometimes words don’t seem to come from within us but form an ‘other’. I do think it’s amusing that we writers refer to our muses: sometimes lovingly, other times (like when they seem to be nonexistent) not so much. It’s like an alter-ego that comes and goes with the wind, and it always makes me wonder if that’s really me. Not the person I am in front of others but the person I write down. I know that if my readers paid enough attention, they would know more about me than I ever mean to share. It’s exposing – writing, that is. It’s like taking a scalpel to your sternum and reading the blood that spills like a soothsayer reads old bones.

        But yes, I think it’s sad to complete a work. I try not to go back on dwell, but it happens. Can I ask if you know what your next post is going to be about? If you need ideas, I would be happy to share some.

      • Fabulous response, Andrea L.! Funny you should say that we expose ourselves through our writing, because I have heard that before as well. Some of my poems have very little basis in reality, yet I’ve heard comments like, “I feel that I know you better after reading those poems.” Sometimes my writings are directly tied to personal events, yet other times it seems like I’m writing for my muse.

        Yes, I would absolutely love to have your input on future writing topics. I try to limit the blog to once or twice a month so that I don’t unnecessarily fill follower’s inboxes. I’m always looking for fresh ideas!

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